Honesty is a difficult scrap of ground on which to make your political stand.
Naturally apathetic, Australia’s political culture has been one of tolerance driven overwhelmingly by laziness. This is not necessarily a criticism. What better defence against tyranny than a landmass incapable of being whipped into an idealogical frenzy? After all, you can’t start a revolution if there’s no one to drag out the guillotine or storm the doors of parliament. Good luck tearing down flags when half your rabble is fishing beer out of an esky or negotiating overtime rates.
Every now and then one group or another gives rebellion a ‘right ol’ go’ but Australia’s stamina for political radicals has trouble outlasting the opening refrain of the campaign. Unlike our patriotic friend across the pond, it’s not controversy that kills off dictatorial hopefuls in this land – it’s tedium.
Indeed, Australians would much prefer their politicians subscribe to the Victorian approach to children – be rarely seen and never heard. So long as they perform their basic task when in government most people couldn’t give a toss what sort of waggery they got up to. I have a theory that scandal only undoes a minister because the public object to endless coverage of their existence. In short, they annoy themselves out of office. Nothing exemplifies this point quite like ex-PM (still self-appointed lord and saviour) Malcolm Turnbull banning sexual relations between staff in his party to band-aid then Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce’s uninteresting affair. To be frank, there’s not going to be a lot left for the public servants to do if they’re not shagging each other in the stationery cupboard.
Joking… but it is true that we have and do let our elected officials get away with all manner of mischief.
Democracy is a chore and most decent people expect the bare minimum of those that get paid by the public purse. The standard M.O. as far as I can determine is, ‘don’t bugger it up’ more eloquently phrased, ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ which is why voters are beginning to lose patience with the endless re-re-re-restructuring of mindless enterprises instead of embarking on much needed infrastructure works.
Before going on, I will admit this:
Australia has a very strange political quirk. You would (sensibly) imagine that to truly motivate a voting base against an incumbent party – to create an honest political movement in his country – you’d have to put in a dire performance. Oppositions are not voted in while governing parties are almost always voted out. Labor in particular has a rather theatrical record of being smacked on the arse by the slamming door of general elections after forgetting to carry a few ‘ones’ on the national balance sheet.
The voting public also have a Russian Roulette approach to politics. If things are going really well with the nation and they’ve spun the barrel three or four times on a good party – we paradoxically load the pistol with a terrible set of ideas and give it a tug on election day. And so the great Australian dilemma of well-performing parties meeting their untimely demise becomes standard practice. Locals know this as, ‘Liberals fixing things and Labor routinely screwing them up.’
What is my point? The mechanisms that drive Australian politics are bizarre but predictable. We are creatures of habit uncomfortable with tectonic change who occasionally set fire to the sprawling forests of logic.
2019’s Federal election will be a war between disaffected Conservatives tired of the tide forever receding into Labor’s lap, the Millennial generation fresh out of university keen to try out a bit of Socialism like voluntarily strapping themselves to a Breaking Wheel, and the terrified minority who remain confused about the barren political landscape offering them very little tangible hope.
Who plans to walk away as Prime Minister? That all depends on which leader self-combusts first. To date, this election has been a comedy of errors with Bill Shorten floating sinister ideas like mandating your body be used for spare parts and a resurrection of the deeply hated ‘death taxes’ to compliment his pickpocketing of franking credits while Scott Morrison’s flanks squabble over how green to make their energy policy, ignoring screeches of dismay from their base.
The blue ribbon is unravelling while the red sword swings within a hair of its own neck.
If minor parties are Australia’s protest, it’s going to be one hell of a year. With both major parties dragging their feet through disastrous news polls, all eyes are on the solitary voices shouting out through the thrall of bickering politicians. In this compliment I do not include breakaway independents who have hastily re-branded. Any ex-Liberal who hides under the shadow of a Getup! campaign is not worthy of the title. To paraphrase the Princess Bride, ‘independent – you keep using that word, I don’t think you know what it means…’
None of this soul searching is remarkable.
The curious thing about the 2019 election is the sudden vigour for dogmatic apocalypse mongering. There have always been crazies wandering the streets, hands raised to the heavens declaring the end to be nigh. They are a statistical certainty and usually dismissed as delusional. How strange then it is to watch the state of Australian politics descend into a sea of poorly spelled placards proclaiming the planet’s demise as the linchpin for both Federal and State elections. How aptly timed is the student’s ‘Strike4Climate’ in this thinly disguised attempt by activists to use our children as political interference. Teachers are paid by our taxes to educate our children, not turn them into mindless tools of the State.
It is reasonably easy to hoodwink the very young. Indoctrination starts in school because students lack the worldly experience required to spot a used car salesman flogging a wreck. Surrounded by half-wit rhetoric, paid hysteria and manipulated ‘science’ our educational institutions fail to leave our children with the one protection they need against dogma – the ability to question…
For a zealous group of self-made messiahs, the Climate Alarmists have made an interesting oversight. You see, there is a massive expiration date branded onto their pseudo religion and instead of the usual, vague Hellfire that can be trotted out over the aeons, these geniuses have learned nothing and given themselves a meagre 12 years.
A decade comes around soon enough. So soon, in fact that I do not have to win this debate today because there is a tsunami of reality creeping forward towards us – like the silent wave racing across the ocean after a seismic event.
Herein lies the warning: when your apocalypse deadline comes and goes and starts to fade – another committee of ‘experts’ will attempt to push out the bar for 5 – 10 – or even 12 years as they have done repeatedly through the last century.
But… Eventually… Those children that you indoctrinated are going to wake up, dare I say they’ll get woke and realise that ‘Climate Change’ is simply another one of their childhood myths. Like its predecessors Global Warming and Global Cooling, it’ll lay on the floor in bits at their feet with a price tag amassing interest that they now have to pay. Having destroyed their faith in reason and undermined the scientific establishment, those children now adults will turn and look you lot of charlatans in the eye and ask:
“Did you do it on purpose? Did you do it for profit? Or did you do it for power…?”
Labor, Greens, Getup! Independents and misguided Liberals who tried to drag this out for political gain – good luck spinning another doomsday fantasy. As the old fable goes, the village never comes to the defence of those who cry wolf.